Guide to Building a Shooting Range

A shooting range is a place where law-abiding, licensed gun owners can practice shooting in a safe environment. Some patrons come to practice handgun shooting to develop self-defense skills. Other patrons come to practice rifle shooting for the purpose of honing their hunting skills. Some ranges place limits on the types of guns used, whereas other ranges accommodate a wider range of legal firearms. Indoor and outdoor ranges even exist for archery practice.

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Care and Maintenance Tips for Your Steel Building

It's easy to overlook basic maintenance tasks. Your steel building might look alright for now, but peer a little closer and you'll notice minor problems creeping up. Steel building owners are like everyone else - they procrastinate until an issue rears its head. With all the time-consuming aspects of life demanding our immediate attention, it's inviting to say, "I'll deal with it later."

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MBMI Commercial Warehouse drone video

Buildings a Microbrewery

Microbreweries are popping up all over the country. Whether you work at a brewery, brew beer at home or just have a strong love of beer, building a microbrewery is a way to turn that passion into a business. Learning how to start a microbrewery takes a lot of information, though, from the equipment you need to the building specifications. Keep reading to find out what you need to know to start a microbrewery.

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Guide to Building a Marijuana Grow House

By any measure, the marijuana business is huge. Cannabis sativa, weed, pot, grass, Mary Jane or whatever name you want to attach to the cultured hemp business, is immensely popular. The medicinal and recreational use of marijuana has been around a long time and is growing fast. It's a multi-billion-dollar industry, and it's not going away.

America is just beginning to legalize marijuana, not just as an approved medicinal drug but also as a socially acceptable form of relaxation, and it's being legislated much the same as alcohol and tobacco. Washington, Oregon and Colorado have already permitted the commercialized production and sale of marijuana and recently California, Massachusetts and Nevada voted in favor of decriminalizing cannabis.

Federally, the laws surrounding legally grown marijuana don't allow an interstate trade of cannabis, but that's bound to change. Cannabis products will soon be traded across state lines as well as internationally. Canada, who is America's northern neighbor and largest trading partner, has been growing and selling medicinal marijuana on the open market for three years and is in the midst of legalizing recreational use.

What used to be a secretive, black market sub-culture has emerged into a respectable, professional and extremely lucrative agricultural industry.

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Building the Perfect Riding Arena: Everything You Need to Know

Building the perfect riding arena is like a dream. If you've given it any thought, chances are you have an idea of what you're looking for. However, there are a lot of details and planning that go in to building a horse-riding arena. It's easy to focus on the big picture, but the reality is bringing your dream riding arena to life requires making good decisions on things like the base of your riding area, something you probably don't have in your dreams.

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Advantages of Living in a Tiny Home

Bigger isn't always better. Anyone living the tiny home lifestyle can confirm that small living offers many full-size benefits. Advantages of tiny homes fit into three main categories: financial gains, environmental benefits and psychological benefits. Some buyers focus on one main benefit, while others like the full gamut of advantages that come along with owning a small house.

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Here are the pictures for the Regatta Park Project. We and the owners are very pleased with the product and service provided. We look forward to doing...

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Thanks MBMI - as you can see the building came out great!

The Unspoken Truth about Scrap Metal: The Double-Edged Sword

It is no secret that the scrap metal industry is thriving in the United States today. Over the past few years, this industry has grown in leaps and bounds and has proven to be a huge boon in more ways than one. Scrap metal recycling has brought with it new jobs, better waste reduction and has significantly contributed to the country's economy.

Everywhere you look, you will find people telling you that recycling scrap metal is the way to go. And for the most part, it really is. It reduces pollution, saves a lot of energy, cuts down on mining, and as an added (colossal) bonus, gives the economy a huge boost. In fact, in 2010 alone, the scrap metal recycling industry processed 74 million tonnes of scrap steel, creating a scrap market of over $22 billion.

Scrap metal recycling centers are flourishing like never before. So much so, that a lot of them are branching out to other countries outside of the United States. Sims Metal Management, an American scrap metal recycling company, for instance, has managed to spread across 5 continents with over 2500 locations worldwide.

However, what we don't hear is the dark side of scrap metal recycling. And as it turns out, it's a high risk and potentially harmful process.

The Dangers of Scrap Metal Recycling - Radioactive Contamination

According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), there are 3 ways by which radioactively contaminated scrap is produced:

  1. Discrete radioactive sources may be mixed with scrap when they escape from regulatory control by being abandoned, lost, or stolen.
  2. Uncontrolled material contaminated with natural or man-made radionuclides from industrial processes may enter the scrap stream.
  3. Materials with very low levels of radioactivity that are below regulatory limits can pass through.

Unfortunately, in most cases it is impossible to know if the metals have been contaminated. Most scrap comes from the demolition of sites, some of which are nuclear facilities. In an attempt to deal with this problem, the EPA has developed a training CD for demolition contractors which describes how to identify and properly handle radiation sources at demolition sites.

Another case in which it is not possible to know if the metal has been contaminated is when the scrap metal is imported into the U.S. from other countries. Of course, there are certain regulations in place that help with detecting contaminated metals, but there is always a possibility of certain metals making it through.

Effects of Recycling Radioactively Contaminated Metals

It goes without saying that if contaminated scrap enters the system in the form of recycled metal, it will have devastating results. At every stage in the recycling process it has the potential to further contaminate other metals, the actual equipment and basically any other devices it comes in contact with.

Stage one

Workers handling scrap metal that has been contaminated with radiation are at risk of contamination themselves. Depending on the extent of the exposure, they can experience anything - from headaches, to mutations, to tumors.

Stage two

When scrap metal is recycled, it is sent to a smelter where it is melted down into molten metal. At such high temperatures, the radionuclides present in the metal can break free and spread like wildfire, thereby contaminating the smelter and all the other metal that would be recycled in the same smelter later on.

Stage three

Recycled metal that is already contaminated could spread through to industries in the form of equipment and heavy machinery. At these industries, all workers who come in contact with the contaminated equipment are at risk of radiation poisoning.

Stage four

Consumer products made out of recycled scrap can prove to be exceptionally dangerous, especially if they are in the form of electronic devices. The demographic that could potentially be exposed to this radiation could reach millions in the blink of an eye.

Stage five

Consumer products made from contaminated recycled metal for the sake of trade can potentially put the population of other countries at risk.

In light of this, it's apparent that though scrap recycling has numerous benefits, the process itself could be fatal to many - IF NOT DONE CAREFULLY. The EPA, along with federal agencies, is trying its best to put certain measures into place so that contaminated metal is not accidentally recycled.

At an individual level, you can always do the responsible thing and avoid selling your electronic and metal scrap to uncertified recycling centers.

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Primed Versus Galvanized Components

Despite some exaggerated claims to the contrary, steel that is protected by red-oxide primer is a better product than galvanized steel for the vast majority of builders. That is why "red iron" is used in most commercial construction - from sheds to skyscrapers. Galvanizing may be useful in extraordinarily corrosive environments (chemical plants for example), but it can cause more problems than it solves in normal circumstances. It is expensive, and it turns a highly-versatile metal into a very unforgiving material. Galvanized steel cannot be painted, it cannot be bent without cracking the finish, and it cannot be welded without producing deadly fumes, not to mention a very ugly scar in the metal. It is also extremely abrasive and must be handled with heavy gloves. Though it is resistant to red rust, galvanized steel will develop white rust with prolonged exposure to moisture.

The water-based, environmentally friendly red-oxide primer is designed to protect the steel before it is erected. When properly applied, it holds up against all but the worst abuse (like allowing water to pool for weeks on un-erected parts). Some manufacturers just spray-paint manufactured components, but MBMI cold-formed steel is always fully prepped and primed before being fabricated, and the red-oxide coat is baked on our frames. As a result, any exposed red iron inside your building will look good for years, and you can finish it out to look even better.

Metal Theft and Its Impact

Demand and Global Impact

Scrap metal is in high demand throughout the industrial nations of Asia, particularly China and India, driving demand for essential scrap metals such as copper and steel, making them more of a high-value money-making target.

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New testimonial: Commercial building in Naples, FL

I went into the first building as a franchisee for a competitor of yours. You were there to answer all of my questions within a very short period of...

Five of the Most Famous Steel Buildings Ever Constructed

The industrial era in the United States saw the construction and manufacturing industries take off. Americans desired goods and new technology, causing businesses to build new factories and facilities to produce them. Steel building construction became the heart of American industry as steel became one of the most extensively used building materials in the country.

This trend toward steel led to the construction of many magnificent steel structures that serve as landmarks in their respective cities. Below is a list of five of the most famous and recognizable steel buildings ever constructed in the United States.

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Steel Buildings: A Farmer's Best Friend

Steel buildings present themselves as a low maintenance, resilient and cost-efficient alternative to traditional wooden or brick structures. These qualities make steel barns and outbuildings an excellent option for individuals in the agricultural industry, as work of this nature requires durable structures. Also, the lack of maintenance and comparatively low costs that these buildings demand gives farmers a distinct advantage over their competitors. Below is a discussion of the specific advantages that steel buildings offer agricultural companies and privately owned farms

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Roof & Gutters: Winter Checklist

Imagine this... Its freezing cold, the snow is 4 inches deep and you're alone at home. The snow storm outside is freakishly & eerily giving you the idea that a homicidal maniac is on the loose. It's the most cliché of scenes you could think of yet at the same time you are getting freaked out. Little sounds coming from all corners of the house disturb you and give you goose bumps on every single inch of your skin. You can hear dripping from cracked flashing; your eyes try to trace the source of the sound from the puddle of water on the ground all the way up to the now hideous formation of a ceiling spot thanks to the leaking water. Suddenly your mind switches from "Aaarrrggghhhhhhh, I'm going to die", to "Man, that looks ugly, I need to fix that before this place starts to look like a dungeon", and you come to realize that all these sounds are just reflecting your lack of attention towards your house.

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Winter Maintenance Tips for Steel Buildings

Steel buildings present themselves as a sturdy and resilient option for anyone looking to build a commercial space or garage. They require a minimal amount of maintenance in comparison to other building structures and do not experience significant wear and tear in poor weather conditions.

Despite the strength of steel buildings, winter conditions require certain adjustments for all building types. Below is a discussion of steel building maintenance and some tips for keeping them in prime condition during the winter months.

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Top Tips for Getting a Steel Frame House Built

Some of the most iconic buildings across the globe are partly made from steel. This includes the likes of the famous Gherkin in the heart of London as well as Dubai's notorious Burj al Arab tower, known for its sail like design. Yet steel is being seen more and more in residential homes as an alternative material when used in construction. When it comes having a steel frame house built, what are some of the main benefits of selecting it?

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Garage Conversions: Planning Permission and More

These days, the demand for space continues unabated while our available finances dwindle. Thus, you'll likely be on the lookout for a cost effective way to expand your home environment. One of the most popular methods is converting your garage into another living space. In general, these rooms aren't used to store vehicles anyway, leading most home owners to either transform them to suit another use or simply waste space by storing unwanted items there. Avoiding the latter is recommended, which is why we've created this basic guide to garage conversions.

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How Secure Is Your Shed?

In a recent study it was shown that 90% of shed owners were said to put away their possessions such as bicycles and power tools in their garden shed, without even thinking about the consequences of shed theft or fires. The majority of shed owners do not even own a secure lock on their shed or outhouse giving any criminal easy access into their storage unit. This statistic is shocking to think when the average value of the contents inside a household shed and outhouse totals to $2500. However with shed robberies at an all time high, now is the time to make sure your shed is secure as possible.

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Steel vs. Brick: Why Steel is the Clear Winner

When it comes to constructing a solid building, the question remains: brick or steel? Brick structures look great and they seem just as sturdy, but there are plenty of reasons why steel is the better choice for your next project. In a general sense, steel is more suitable because it offers a higher value.

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What to Look for in Modular Steel Bridging

Dating back to World War Two, the modular bridge has been providing simple solutions for transporting heavy loads across rough terrain for over sixty years now. In that time, the designs have developed continuously until today, giving us the modern bridges that we are used to seeing in our everyday environment. This has also led to a wide variety of options in both construction experts and bridge designs. So how can you choose the best solution? Read on for four crucial tips about what to look for when researching these temporary bridging alternatives.

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So You Want To Build A Garage...

Choosing to add a garage to your home is often an excellent decision. Garages offer people a place to keep their vehicle safe, essential storage space and room for completing projects.

While some homes come with a pre-existing garage, other homes do not have this helpful amenity. Whether you are moving into a new home or planning to add to your current one constructing a garage is often a priority. If you are planning on adding a garage to your home here are some things to consider.

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MBMI in Metal Construction News

Check out MBMI Metal Buildings in the Metal Construction News. The Metal Construction News reached out to MBMI for some insight in designing and engineering buildings for high wind load areas which is one or areas of expertise being based in South Florida.

Thwarting Disaster With Steel Buildings

Natural disasters have threatened buildings since mankind built the first mud and wattle hut. With the increase in severe weather events, hurricane, tornado and flooding damage are on the rise, with an attendant increase in insurance costs and building damages.

In addition to the weather, earthquakes and tsunamis take a yearly toll on buildings and human life. When low-grade or none-existent building codes combine with a poverty-stricken populace - as they often do - the death toll from a natural disaster can soar into the thousands.

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Best Metal Roofing Products for 2013

When it comes to metal roofing, you need more than technique to produce a quality product. You need the tools and machinery to accomplish the designated task. The importance of using quality products and machinery cannot be overestimated. This article will provide a bit of insight into some of the best metal roofing products in the world.

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Tips for Buying Steel Building Parts

The benefit of a steel building is that they generally offer great stability and support. They are perfect for storage buildings, living and business spaces. If you have decided to purchase a steel building and have a contractor work on it for you, you will first need to know some things.

While you are purchasing the finished building, it is pre-engineered based on the parts or designs that you choose. Here are tips for buying the steel building parts and choosing a reliable contractor.

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5 Essential Factors to Consider When Building a Shed

While putting up a new storage area in your back garden is one of the most useful projects you can undertake, you'll need to think about more than just the style and size of the shed in question. In fact, there are five important considerations to make before you even choose the type of structure you desire. Below, we'll look at each of these, going over why they're so essential for erecting your outdoor building in the very best manner possible.

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The Increasing Popularity of Green Construction

As consumers become more conscious about how their activities affect the environment, more and more people are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Here, we discuss why green construction services have become so popular and give a few tips on making your construction business greener.

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3 Reasons Why Steel Buildings Are a Smart Update for Your Family Farm

A growing number of large farm operations around the United States have made it more difficult for small family farms to survive, even when farming has been a tradition among relatives for generations.

Sometimes, making updates to property can make it easier for family farms to succeed, especially if existing buildings have deteriorated to the point of where they are not only dangerous, but also unprofitable. Below, you'll find three advantages of swapping wooden buildings with ones made from steel.

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How American and Canadian Building Codes Work

Building Codes are legal requirements governing the construction of new buildings, as well as major renovations and changes in use of existing buildings. However, building codes are poorly understood, even by many in the construction industry. This article will explain the structure behind building codes: what they are, who writes them, who passes them into law and who enforces them.

Model Codes vs. Legally Enforceable State Codes

In both the U.S. and Canada, a national organization develops "model codes." Yes, Canada and the U.S. have separate model building codes, and that's absolutely vital to know for businesses who work on both sides of the border.

Model codes have no legal standing until they are adopted by a government that has the authority to regulate construction. In the U.S., those jurisdictions are the states and in Canada, they're the provinces. Each state and province has its own building code, based on the applicable model code. Some states and provinces adopt the model codes outright. Other state and provincial building codes differ from the model codes quite a bit.

In the U.S., the model building code is called "The International Building Code," or IBC. The International Code Council, a non-profit organization, publishes a full set of IBC model codes, including codes that provide guidelines for building construction, plumbing, fire protection and many other aspects of building and infrastructure design and maintenance. There are fifteen in all, and more information on them can be found at the website.

In Canada, the model building code is called "The National Building Code," or NBC. It is developed by a government organization: The National Research Council, Canada. Canada also has a National Plumbing Code, Energy Code, Fire Code and Farm Code.

So, new editions of the model codes are published every five to ten years, and when that happens, every state or provincial government reviews the new model code and decides how to modify it for their jurisdiction. When they're finished reviewing the new version of the model code and holding consultations, they'll prepare a state or provincial building code, which is then made into law by the state legislature.

Local Enforcement

Every model code that's adapted and/or adopted by a state or provincial government becomes a legal regulation within that jurisdiction. These codes are called things like The Florida Building Code or Ontario's Building Code.

However, the state and provincial governments don't generally enforce the Building Codes. Under most circumstances, they are enforced by local authorities; usually cities or townships. The building department in your area enforces the building code, which is a state regulation. The code is usually enforced by a building department, led by a building official.

When a new building is planned, drawings and specifications are prepared. These detail the building's layout, structure, cladding, roof, plumbing, mechanical systems, finishes, fixtures, etc. For a large project, separate sets of drawings and specifications will come from an architect, a mechanical engineer, a structural engineer and possibly an electrical engineer, as well. In smaller projects, there will be fewer designers involved. The drawings will be submitted to the local authority, and  the building department will check them to make sure that they comply with building code requirements. If they do, a building permit is issued for the project.

Once the building permit is issued, construction can begin. During the construction process, the local authority will send inspectors to make sure that the building is being constructed to code and according to plan. They will look at various systems and assemblies at various points in the construction process, and they will generally let the builder know in advance when to contact them for an inspection. In some jurisdictions, the local government also needs to issue a certification of completion in order for the building to be legally ready to use.

Other Laws That Can Affect Building Projects

The building codes aren't the only codes that affect construction that go through the process of being drafted as model codes, adapted by state governments and enforced by local authorities. Energy conservation codes are sometimes separate from building codes, and they also affect the design of buildings. Fire and plumbing codes are almost always separate regulations, as well.

Building design is also affected by local government bylaws and planning policies. These affect the site plan review, and they may set limits on, for example, the building's height or distance from the property lines. Zoning regulations can limit the types of buildings that can be constructed on a site, as well.

Talk to Your Local Building Official!

Now that you know just how complicated the regulation of building construction can be, how do you sort it out if you're not an experienced professional? Call or visit your local building department with a list of questions and  the basic facts about the project you're considering. They will be able to tell you exactly what requirements you'll need to be aware of and what regulations you'll need to follow. Having a good relationship with the local building department is important for anyone planning a construction project, so why not introduce yourself and get the answers you need?

If you're planning to construct a pre-fabricated building from a company like MBMI Metal Buildings, then most of the work will already have been done for you. However, you'll still need to submit the project for permit, and you'll still need to comply with any site plan requirements.

Solar Energy and Metal Buildings

Can metal buildings work with rooftop solar energy systems? Yes, they absolutely can! Our clients who want to equip their MBMI metal building with solar voltaic panels, solar thermal systems or solar walls just need to supply our engineers with information on system at the beginning of the design process. We can design the structure to support any type of solar system at very little or no added cost.

What kind of system might be best? When most people think about solar power systems, they think of solar voltaic panels that generate electricity. However, solar thermal systems are, in many cases, an even better choice. Finally, there are solar systems that use hot air to provide heating, like solar walls. They can also work well with metal buildings.

Solar Voltaic Systems

By U.S. Department of Agriculture
(20110504-RD-LSC-0621), via Wikimedia Commons

Solar voltaic systems consist of arrays of solar panels that generate electricity. For rooftop use, these may be regular solar panels on the roof's surface or solar shingles.

Many people think that solar voltaic systems feed electricity to the building, require batteries, and complicate the building's electrical system. It's true that solar panels can be used to directly power an off-grid building. However, most rooftop solar panels actually feed power into the local electricity distribution grid, and the power company pays the owners of the panels for the energy.

Here's how it works. The building uses energy from the grid, and the panels feed energy into the grid. That way, there's no need to store the electricity. Storing electricity is actually the less efficient choice. If the electricity is added to the grid, it all gets used, however, there are losses associated with storing it in a battery and using it later.

What this usually translates into for the building owner is a discounted electrical bill.

Solar Thermal Systems

By SolarCoordinates, via Wikimedia Commons

Solar thermal systems don't generate electricity. Instead, they use solar power to heat water. Rooftop solar thermal systems can preheat the domestic hot water that's used for cleaning, cooking and washing. They can preheat the water that's used with a boiler and radiators. They can also be used to heat pool water.

There are two types of solar thermal systems. One simply involves using a high efficiency pump to pass water through tubes on the roof. The other type is more advanced and efficient. It uses a vacuum tube-based system and a heat exchanger. Both are governed by a set of thermostats and a controller. They switch on when the roof is hot and the water in the boiler, water heater or pool is cooler.

Solar thermal systems sound simple, they require powered pumps, and many people wonder how useful they are. The fact is, they are highly efficient and very useful. They almost always provide more energy savings than a solar voltaic system. After doing the research and running the numbers, most people find that solar thermal systems have a shorter payback period than solar voltaic systems.

How Solar Thermal Power Works on HowStuffWorks.com

Solar Walls

By Conserval Engineering Inc.

Finally, there's the type of system that uses solar energy to heat the air: solar walls. Like water-based solar thermal systems, solar walls can help to boost a heating system. However, rather than working with boilers and radiators, they work with furnaces and ducts. They're usually installed on a south-facing wall, and they absorb the heat from solar radiation, use it to warm a column of air, and allow the air to rise up to a rooftop HVAC unit for distribution. Like solar voltaic and solar thermal systems, a solar wall (or solar roof) can easily be coordinated with standard building systems.

Government Incentives

When it comes to the cost effectiveness of these types of systems, government incentives can play a huge role. Check the EPA website and your state and local websites for information on feed-in tariffs for solar voltaic systems and grants and discounts for solar heating systems.

Building and Planning Regulations - History and Objectives

Why does the government have so much say in what private citizens construct on their own property? The fact is, government building and planning regulations serve a number of purposes, but the most fundamental are public safety and creating livable communities.

Building Code Objectives

In the U.S., building codes were first enacted in the nineteenth century. Why? New York burned. San Francisco burned. Chicago burned. Atlanta burned. Dozens of American cities and hundreds of towns were destroyed by massive fires, some more than once.

As a result, local and state governments made it their business to ensure that cities and towns couldn't be destroyed by a single, cataclysmic fire. One way they do this is by prohibiting flammable cladding in built up areas. Another is by limiting the height of wood-framed buildings. Still another is by requiring sprinkler systems and stand pipes in large buildings.

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Steel Buildings Go Green

The idea that a metal building could be environmentally sustainable strikes many as odd. After all, what could be more artificial than a steel building? In fact, steel buildings prove remarkably green when compared to other buildings.

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Can You Build a Home with a Metal Frame?

Metal buildings are strong, inexpensive and quick to build. That's great for a barn, garage, storage building or workshop and when our customers see just how economical and adaptable our buildings are, they ask, "Why not make one of those into a house?"

Is it possible to build a house starting with one of our steel frames? Yes! It absolutely is possible. Not only that, but it has quite a few advantages over traditional wood platform framing, over CMU construction, and even over light gauge steel framing.

Wood Framing vs. MBMI's Metal Framing

A traditional wood framed house uses studs, joists and rafters for its frame, usually spaced at 16 inches on center. To prevent fires from spreading too easily, each story of the house is built as a unit, topped with a wood deck. Most houses have wood cladding on their walls, wood sheathing on their roofs and wood interior finishes, as well. That's a lot of material!

The type of steel frame we design at MBMI is much less expensive than a wood frame. It's stronger, too. You'll never have to worry about whether or not the structure can support another story, solar panels or anything else. You also won't have to worry so much about the risk of fire.

Although wood is a renewable resource, we're using it at a faster rate than we can grow it. Steel is fully recyclable, and a steel frame will always contain a substantial percentage of recycled metal.

The more consistent the layer of insulation in the walls and attic, the more energy efficient the house will be. Both wood and steel interrupt the insulation and don't do a very good job insulating, themselves. In the construction business, they're known as "thermal breaks". Our frames have fewer thermal breaks than a standard wood frame.

To summarize,

  • A steel-framed house is stronger than a wood-framed house
  • Wood burns; steel doesn't
  • An MBMI steel house uses less material in its structure
  • Not overusing wood helps to preserve forests and keep wood production sustainable
  • Steel can be - and is! - recycled
  • An MBMI steel house has fewer thermal breaks in its insulation

Light Gauge Steel vs. MBMI's Metal Framing

Light gauge metal framing is a steel imitation of standard lumber, and it shares many of its disadvantages. First it's expensive - usually more expensive than wood and a lot more expensive than our larger metal frames. Second, it has just as many thermal breaks as a wood frame, and they can conduct even more heat than wood does. Finally, a light gauge steel frame is just as complex and difficult to build as a wood frame.

We think that light gauge steel framing fails to take advantage of a lot of steel's innate strengths as a building material.

Will it Look Like a House?

Our standard metal buildings come with metal siding and metal roofing. That's because steel finishes are durable and inexpensive, and they allow us to offer the best possible value. A simple look can be striking and modern, and some people like this kind of look, especially combined with a custom spatial design.

However, many people prefer a more traditional appearance for their home. There is absolutely no reason why a house based on one of our steel frames can't look exactly like a house with standard construction. Our buildings can be constructed with brick veneers. They can be sided with vinyl, stucco or wood.

You can add as much insulation to the walls as you want, and of course the interior can be finished with drywall or with any other standard material.

Since we can custom design a steel frame for your house, you can add anything you want: high ceilings, multiple stories, a garage or carport, or any other useful addition or architectural feature.

We've designed and manufactured a number of steel frames for homes, and we're really excited about this type of project. Request a price quote today. We'd love to discuss how we can help you build your dream house more quickly and for less money than you would have thought possible.

Pros and cons of steel structure homes vs traditional timber

The structure of your home is of great importance as it is the skeleton of the house, giving the rooms and the entire home shape and support. It's therefore essential that you have the best material available for the structure.

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New testimonial: Garage and auto shop in Delray Beach, FL

Check out the photos of this steel garage and auto shop we designed and engineered for a customer in Delray Beach.

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Check out the photos of this of a feed store in Alice, Texas

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Thank You, MBMI.Your entire team, coupled with a great product provides us with a building that not only serves all of our needs, it also has become...

LEED Green Building Certification

Trends in green and sustainable building are thriving as home owners and progressive developers seek to use less energy more efficiently to heat and cool their space - be it a home dwelling, office building, school, commercial space or retail space. The industry standard in the green building space is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

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Steel Buildings for Industrial Uses

Industrial Steel BuildingIndustrial buildings can act as warehouses, assembly facilities or workshops. They usually have offices a part of the layout, as well. Different parts of the building may have different functions and different requirements.

Chances are good that one of our buildings would be a long lasting, highly functional, and economical choice. We've designed metal buildings for industrial businesses many times before, and our clients have been thrilled with the results.

Our buildings can be designed and constructed with a clear span of up to 200 feet. They can be up to 400 feet wide with a row of columns in the middle. They can be as long as you need them to be, and they can be built out of intersecting sections. So, for example, we could construct a basic industrial building

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Can Steel Homes Be Green Homes?

The short answer: Yes!

What Does it Mean to be Green?

When we ask whether or not something is green, we're talking about its sustainability and the effect it has on climate change.

Some types of energy and materials are more sustainable than others. For example, we will run out of fossil fuels, but we will never run out of sunlight. So, solar power is sustainable. Gas and coal are not.

Climate change is being helped along by a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases are created when we burn fossil fuels either directly, or to generate electricity. These emissions are converted into units of carbon dioxide-equivalent when they're counted up. That's why greenhouse gas emissions are also called "carbon emissions" or just "carbon."

Of course, other issues, such as pollution, are also important aspects of environmental stewardship.

How do Houses Relate to Sustainability and Climate Change?

The materials and assemblies that are used in construction go through a cycle of use:

  1. They're mined or harvested from the Earth
  2. They're transported to a manufacturing facility
  3. They're milled or manufactured into something we can use. There may be several levels of manufacture.
  4. They're transported to the site as building materials.
  5. The house is constructed.
  6. The house is used for 50-100+ years.
  7. The house is demolished or disassembled, and the parts are recycled or thrown away.

At each of these stages, energy is used and emissions are created. The first six phases are referred to as a home's embodied energy. When a house is torn down, its embodied energy is lost. Because of embodied energy, the longer a home lasts, the less energy and emissions are associated with it, on average, per year.

Number six is the use phase. The less energy a home uses during this phase, the more sustainable it is. Sustainability during the use phase depends on how big the house is, how well it's insulated, how efficient its mechanical systems are, and what percentage of renewable energy it uses.

Number seven is the end of life phase. Houses constructed of recyclable, non-toxic materials are better for the environment than houses that leave behind a lot of waste.

Following are some of the advantages of our steel homes as they move through these phases.

Steel is Recycled and Recyclable

Steel is a material that's recycled and recyclable. When you build a home based on an MBMI steel building, it will have a significant amount of recycled material already in its metal parts. That eliminates the whole extraction phase for a percentage of the material.

When a steel house reaches the end of its service life, its metal parts will, once again, be recyclable.

Steel is Durable

A steel-framed home is strong and is not likely to be damaged by weather or normal wear and tear. It has a very long potential service life. After many decades of use, the roofing and siding may need to be replaced. However, the frame could last for centuries. A house with a long service life makes the best possible use of its embodied energy.

There's Less Energy Use in the Construction Phase

MBMI steel buildings, including homes, are easy to put together using basic tools. It's oftentimes not even necessary to hire a contractor. There's much less energy expended in the construction process than there is when a standard wood-framed house is built.

Steel is Good for Use with Solar Panels

A steel frame can easily support solar panels or solar shingles. Creating renewable energy offsets the energy needed to run the mechanical systems.

Steel Houses Don't Require Chemicals for Maintenance

Wood houses need to be painted or treated every few years in order to stay water tight. The color on metal siding and roofing is much longer lasting. That means fewer toxic chemicals are added during the life of the house, and fewer chemicals go into the landfill when it's demolished at the end of its lifecycle.

Steel Houses Are Well Insulated

A house built on a steel frame is just as easy to insulate as a wood house. It will also have fewer thermal bridges, or breaks in the insulation. That improves energy efficiency.

MBMI Works with LEED

MBMI has performed an analysis of its materials and methods for use with the LEED green building rating system. MBMI can work with other standards for sustainable building, as well. Ask us about LEED points, solar panels, recycled materials and energy efficiency!

10 Tips for Cold Weather Projects

Carrying out a construction project in cold weather can become an immensely challenging task. Low temperatures can cause issues for workers themselves, but the largest issues lie elsewhere. Cold weather can throw the construction schedule off track, damage stored materials, impair the strength of the completed structures and much more. This can lead to a significant increases in the cost of a project overall. The good news is that there are a number of ways you can ensure that your cold weather project progresses on schedule and on budget. Here are ten tips to help you get through the cold:

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The Benefits of Steel as a Building Material

There are many different benefits of using steel as a building material.

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Steel Buildings During The Winter

Year after year, snow loads keep getting heavy on buildings and only the strongest buildings survive under the burden. Anyone on the lookout for new building materials with the best insulation to guard against extreme weather elements should consider a steel building. Steel is very strong, and when combined with the right architectural structural design for walls and roofs, it gives you the best possible strength combination. Here are the three main advantages of a steel building during the winter.

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Metal Framing for Church Buildings

Can an MBMI metal building provide a strong, inspiring and comfortable space for worship and fellowship? Absolutely! Our steel-framed buildings make excellent churches, and of course they can be adapted for use as other types of religious buildings, as well.

A Metal Church Can Look as Traditional as you Wish

Our metal frames can span up to 200 feet with no interior columns. Our buildings lend themselves to wide open spaces, and they can be constructed in any length, and with intersecting parts. That means that your metal-framed church can be anything from a small, simple, rectangular chapel to a grand, cross shaped cathedral.

  • Yes, your church can have high ceilings! It's easy for us to vary the height of our metal frames in a custom job.
  • Yes, your church can have a steeple! We can design one of steel, or we can design your building to work with a steeple from another supplier.
  • Yes, your church can have large windows! It's even possible to install stained glass windows into one of our metal buildings with the proper design and preparation.
  • Yes, your church can have brick or wood on the outside. It's the metal framing that makes our buildings strong and an excellent value. Although metal siding is the most economical choice for the exterior, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and your budget).

A Metal Church is Strong and Durable

A church is meant to be a sanctuary. When there's an emergency and when they're scared, people should be able to trust their church to be a shelter from the storm. A steel framed building can withstand any type of weather. It will be a safe gathering place in dangerous times.

A Metal Church is a Good Value

If your growing congregation is looking for a home large enough to support all of its meetings and activities, then a metal building may be the perfect solution. We can design anything from an addition to an existing church to a whole new complex. This is without a doubt the least expensive way to construct a large new building, so you'll be able to get started sooner than you ever would have thought possible.

If you base your new religious building on a metal frame, you'll know that it's strong and stable to the core. Some of our customers plan their church building in stages: a basic metal church with metal siding and roofing to get started, then a steeple and more attractive siding and finishes as the resources become available. We are always happy to work with congregations on a plan that will meet both their short term needs and their long term aspirations.

Building a Home: MBMI Metal vs. Stick Framing

Metal buildings are strong, inexpensive and easy to build. That's why so many people think of MBMI when they need a new barn, garage, storage building or workshop. When our customers see just how economical and adaptable our buildings are, they ask, "Why not make one into a house?" 

Is it possible to build a house starting with one of our steel frames? Yes! It absolutely is possible. Not only that, but it has quite a few advantages over both traditional wood framing and light gauge steel framing. 

Traditional Residential Construction

A traditional wood framed house uses studs, joists and rafters for its frame, usually spaced at 16 inches on center.  To prevent fires from spreading too easily, each story of the house is built as a unit, topped with a wood deck. Most houses have wood cladding on their walls, wood sheathing on their roofs and wood interior finishes, as well. That's a lot of material! 

Metal vs Wood

The type of steel frame we design at MBMI is much less expensive than a wood frame. It's stronger, too. You'll never have to worry about whether or not the structure can support another story, solar panels, or anything else. You also won't have to worry so much about the risk of fire.

Although wood is a renewable resource, we're using it at a faster rate than we can grow it. Steel is fully recyclable, and a steel frame will always contain a substantial percentage of recycled metal.

Stick Framing vs Standard Steel Framing

The more consistent the layer of insulation in the walls and attic, the more energy efficient a house will be. Wall studs interrupt the insulation and don't do a very good job insulating, themselves. In the construction business, they're known as thermal breaks. Our frames have fewer thermal breaks than a stick frame, because our frames don't require studs.

Finally, a stick-framed house needs to have continuous foundation walls all the way around its perimeter. They're usually constructed of concrete block or poured concrete, and they're expensive and time consuming to build. When an MBMI steel building is constructed without a basement, all it requires are simple square footings underneath the posts. That is much less expensive than a full foundation.

What About Light Gauge Steel?

Light gauge metal framing imitates standard lumber, and it shares many of lumber's disadvantages. First it's expensive - usually more expensive than wood and a lot more expensive than our steel frames. Second, it has just as many thermal breaks as a wood frame, and they can conduct even more heat than wood does. Third, the foundations for a light gauge metal house are the same as for a wood framed house. Finally, a light gauge steel frame is just as complex and difficult to build as a wood frame. 

We think that light gauge steel framing fails to take advantage of a lot of steel's innate strengths as a building material.

Will it Look Like a House?

Our standard metal buildings come with metal siding and metal roofing. That's because steel finishes are durable and inexpensive, and they allow us to offer the best possible value. There's nothing wrong with a simple look, and some people love the idea of a stripped down, modern style for their house. 

However, a home based on an MBMI steel frame can have absolutely any type of plan and appearance. Just like houses with standard stick frames, they can be constructed with brick veneers. Any type of siding can be mounted onto invisible steel girts that are attached to the frame. Any kind of interior finish can be mounted onto the interior girts.

An MBMI steel house is well insulted, inexpensive and quick to build. What could be a better choice? Call us for a free quote or just to chat about the options.

New testimonial: Shop in Keystone Heights, FL

Check out our latest testimonial from Tom: I was very happy with MBMI for the whole process. Ordering was simple and accurate and delivery was prompt. We got everything we needed on the first...

Wouldn't you Love Having a Garage for your RV?

Steel RV GarageA recreational vehicle is a wonderful thing to own. It lets you bring the comforts of home to whatever place you choose to visit. Unfortunately, an RV is not, in fact, a house. It can't withstand the forces associated with severe weather like a house can. Hail and objects propelled by high winds can scratch and dent an RV, and hurricane force winds can even tip it over.

Moreover, an RV is a vehicle, and it's an expensive vehicle. If you own a car that's in the same price range as a nice RV, we're willing to bet that you don't store it outdoors. There's a threat of theft and a risk of vandalism, as well as other potential sources of loss and damage.

An RV garage isn't necessarily just a place to store the vehicle. It can also provide places for all of the associated accessories, and provide a sheltered place to maintain the RV and prep it for travel. When an RV is kept in a garage, it will stay clean and new looking, as well.

Of course, an RV doesn't fit into most garages. It wouldn't even make it through the door. That's why we have so many customers asking us to provide steel framed RV garages.

These RV shelters are convenient to own, and they're also a great way to protect your investment. They can be designed, manufactured, and erected quickly. Putting one together is simple, and they're not as expensive as you might expect.

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Ultimate Guide to Metal Buildings

We are proud to present the first episode of our upcoming video series: The Ultimate Guide to Metal Buildings. Don't miss the upcoming episodes, follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our RSS feed!

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How a Metal Building Saves You Money

Steel has evolved as a cutting-edge construction material that's become nothing less than effective - in terms of strength, design, durability, and cost-effectiveness. With a plethora of advantages and benefits, the choice to construct with steel is nearly exclusively the ideal choice.

Photo source: sxc.hu

At MBMI, we understand the obligation of excellence and the pedigree of quality, and our work is thus characterized. Along with that, however, we realize the necessity for a cost-effective solution, particularly in today's economy. A properly engineered building created and conducted by the highly professional and customer-oriented team at MBMI will guarantee you top quality without burning a hole in your wallet.

A properly engineered building, in and of itself, will save you money - as aforementioned, one of the many attractions of steel construction:

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Are metal barns good?

A drive around the country roads is enough to tell you that today, most owners of farms, ranches and stables are choosing metal barns. Why have these buildings become so popular in recent years? It's because of their durability, flexibility, ease of maintenance and reasonable cost.

Metal Barns are Durable

Barns, stables and other agricultural buildings are hardworking structures. They're simply constructed and are missing a lot of the finishes that houses and other buildings are fitted with. They need to be able to function with minimum protection from the elements.

Unfortunately, wood is susceptible to water damage. It can rot, and as an organic material, it can become home to insects and small mammals. A wooden barn needs to be kept painted, and there's no way to prevent the parts of it that are close to the ground and exposed to moisture from deteriorating.

An all-metal barn will not be subject to rot, and it will stay cleaner and more sanitary as the decades pass. Metal also requires less maintenance than wood. With galvanizing or a durable coating, it will be less susceptible to rust than a wood barn is to rot. It won't need to be painted, and it will probably never need to be repaired.

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New testimonial: Gym in Passaic, NJ

New testimonial: Gym in Passaic, NJA testimonial of a 30ft high, 65x132 building.

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Protecting Your Steel Building Against Corrosion

Guard your steel building from the damages that corrosion can bring by following these tips

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How to construct a metal shop or garage

This is a trailer to our upcoming video blog series about steel buildings and construction. Stay tuned!

The Advantages of Metal Buildings

Given its many advantages as a quality construction material for both residential and commercial purposes, it's little wonder that steel has been gaining swift and steady popularity and preference over other conventional building materials. Cement, brink, and wood are rapidly being replaced by this competitor that's at once strong, stylish, and built to last.

Apart from steel's benefits in and of itself as a material, steel also is the obvious answer for practical purposes. The use of non-renewable resources like wood have led us to clear forests and destroy natural environments, leading to dire consequences for the entire planet-consequences that some scientists fear cannot be retracted. The resources of yesterday have become less available, more expensive, and with limited options.

Steel has its own innate advantages, however; regardless of the scarcity and limitations of the other materials, steel's characteristics rank it as a strong leading choice in the modern construction industry.

Strength. Steel's strength shouldn't be underestimated. Metal buildings are extremely sturdy, yet they can also be flexible in the event of an earthquake, holding up a building a lot more easily than, say, a rigid cement or brick building.

Durability. Steel withstands many of nature's gnawing forces. It's immune to the advances of termites, mold, and rodents. It's heat-resistant, and won't succumb to fire (as a wooden building most certainly will!). It's also strong enough to withstand dramatic climatic onslaughts, including forceful winds and heavy snowfall.

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